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Archive for October 2011

Name : Anathem

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre : speculative fiction

Pages : 932

Language: English/Orth

Publication Year: 2008-09-09

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards : Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2009.

Rating: 5/5

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Anathem is the second novel by Neal Stephenson which I read, third one Snow Crash in queue. First of all Anathem is written different languages, by different I mean it’s written in english and the language Neal Stephenson made up known as Orth.  But the book is mostly written in english expect for some words he uses in many places which he made up. He also provided the glossary of the terms and entries from the Ortho dictionary speckled throughout the book which describes the meaning of those words in different contexts.

Anathem is huge novel with 931 pages (paperback edition) and bit slow in the beginning and it takes around 150+ pages to reach the core plot of the book but though it’s slow in the beginning but I never found it boring. The ideas presented in the book are really interesting and as well as complex and some ideas are explained in the separate supplements provided in the back of the book known as Calca (philosophical or mathematical discussion between two people of differing views). If mathematical or philosophical concepts make you crawl in fear, then you would probably not enjoy Anathem.

The ending in this novel is good compare to his previous novel which I read, Cryptonomicon whose ending was really disappointing. The character development in this novel is very good and I enjoyed the new languages and his ideas. Anathem moves into more theoretical areas by showing how the different ways in which we frame our thoughts have real and powerful impact on the world at large, even if it takes a very long time for those thoughts to produce concrete results/effects.  The story is told from the perspective of Fraa Erasmas. I liked the writing style, the character development and characters in the book are really funny, charming, philosophical and I liked the protagonist, Fraa Erasmus, or Raz, Ala, Jesry, Lio and Orolo.

Fraa Erasmas is a young avout living in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, a sanctuary for mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers, protected from the corrupting influences of the outside “saecular” world by ancient stone, honored traditions, and complex rituals. Over the centuries, cities and governments have risen and fallen beyond the concent’s walls. Three times during history’s darkest epochs violence born of superstition and ignorance has invaded and devastated the cloistered mathic community. Yet the avout have always managed to adapt in the wake of catastrophe, becoming out of necessity even more austere and less dependent on technology and material things. And Erasmas has no fear of the outside—the Extramuros—for the last of the terrible times was long, long ago.

Now, in celebration of the week-long, once-in-a-decade rite of Apert, the fraas and suurs prepare to venture beyond the concent’s gates—at the same time opening them wide to welcome the curious “extras” in. During his first Apert as a fraa, Erasmas eagerly anticipates reconnecting with the landmarks and family he hasn’t seen since he was “collected.” But before the week is out, both the existence he abandoned and the one he embraced will stand poised on the brink of cataclysmic change.

Powerful unforeseen forces jeopardize the peaceful stability of mathic life and the established ennui of the Extramuros—a threat that only an unsteady alliance of saecular and avout can oppose—as, one by one, Erasmas and his colleagues, teachers, and friends are summoned forth from the safety of the concent in hopes of warding off global disaster. Suddenly burdened with a staggering responsibility, Erasmas finds himself a major player in a drama that will determine the future of his world—as he sets out on an extraordinary odyssey that will carry him to the most dangerous, inhospitable corners of the planet . . . and beyond.

If you have a patience for side-discussions of theorotic/philosophical material, and enjoy theoretical fiction, then this novel is for you, go ahead and read it and damn sure you won’t regret it.

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Name : Cryptonomicon

Author: Neal Stephenson

Genre : Historical/sci-fi/Techno-thriller Fiction

Pages : 1168

Language: English

Publication Year: 1999

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards : Cryptonomicon won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel in 2000.

Rating: 4.5/5

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Cryptonomicon is my first Neal Stephenson novel, this book appeared on many ‘Must Read’ lists so I decided to give it a try. I am glad that I did.

This book is huge (1116+ pages – paperback edition) and fun to read. This book is great mix of War (word war II), soldiers, code breaker, mathematics, computers, and technologies. The writing style of Neal Stephenson is brilliant and use of metaphors are brilliant, sometimes hilarious.

Cryptonomicon is not a single novel, it’s three novels in one what mean by this is, this novel has three different plots and each plot is related to the other plot. this novel is well paced, clever and  a real page turner. though the volume of the book is huge (1K+ pages) but once you cross 60+ pages you will never want it to end. the story revolves around four main characters and major part of the story is set in world war II era.

What I liked most is the kind of research and depth of the research Stephenson done for this book, either it is code breaking, ciphers, working of computers, mathematics everything well researched. the book is joy to read even-though the volume of the book is huge. I kept on reading till the end so when I got there the book kind of stopped, I was expecting something more or amazing end but it’s stopped.

The flow of story is not linear what I mean is the story is told by different person on different times. the plot is divided into three parts, tow parts set in world war II and one part in current time and all three parts amazingly linked together. the character development is amazing, so much so that you even start liking the bad guys in the book.

The writing style of Neal Stephenson style is unique, light-hearted and fun. If you want to have the fun with this novel, you have to be patience, this novel need great deal of patience as Neal explains the backgrounds, submarines, working of enigma, code breaking techniques, mathematical formulas and working of computers.

In 1942, Lawrence Pritchard Waterhouse – mathematical genius and young Captain in the U.S. Navy – is assigned to detachment 2702. It is an outfit so secret that only a handful of people know it exists, and some of those people have names like Churchill and Roosevelt. The mission of Watrehouse and Detatchment 2702-commanded by Marine Raider Bobby Shaftoe-is to keep the Nazis ignorant of the fact that Allied Intelligence has cracked the enemy’s fabled Enigma code. It is a game, a cryptographic chess match between Waterhouse and his German counterpart, translated into action by the gung-ho Shaftoe and his forces.

Fast-forward to the present, where Waterhouse’s crypto-hacker grandson, Randy, is attempting to create a “data haven” in Southeast Asia – a place where encrypted data can be stored and exchanged free of repression and scrutiny. As governments and multinationals attack the endeavor, Randy joins forces with Shaftoe’s tough-as-nails grandaughter, Amy, to secretly salvage a sunken Nazi sumarine that holds the key to keeping the dream of a data haven afloat. But soon their scheme brings to light a massive conspiracy with its roots in Detachment 2702 linked to an unbreakable Nazi code called Arethusa. And it will represent the path to unimaginable riches and a future of personal and digital liberty…or to universal totalitarianism reborn.

A breathtaking tour de force, and Neal Stephenson’s most accomplished and affecting work to date, CRYPTONOMICON is profound and prophetic, hypnotic and hyper-driven, as it leaps forward and back between World War II and the World Wide Web, hinting all the while at a dark day-after-tomorrow. It is a work of great art, thought, and creative daring; the product of a truly icon

Amazing story, awesome characters and real page turner and a must and a splendid read for all fiction (sci-fi/historical/techno-thriller) fans. except for the ending overall this book is joy to read. I loved this book so much that I already started reading his Novel Anathem and planing to purchase his new novel Reamde.

Name : Truly,Madly,Deeply

Author: Faaraz Kazi

Genre : Indian Fiction

Pages : 302

Language: English

Publication Year: 2010

Is Review Spoiler: No

Movie based on this book : –

Awards : –

Rating: 4/5

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Truly,Madly,Deeply is debut novel by Faraaz Kazi, in this novel Faraaz tells an awesome and beautiful love story of Rahul and Seema. I was hooked into the story from the very first page where heart-broken Rahul wonder’s in park, finds the name of his love ‘Seema’ written by him on wood. The story is told from Rahul perspective in series of flash backs. The choice of words by Faraaz is pretty great.

The character development is pretty nice, especially Rahul, who tells this story. Seema’s character lack some details this may be because we see Seema from Rahul’s perspective. flow of story is very smooth but in the middle it flags a little with cricket/quiz/debate after that the story catches up the speed. the use of shayari’s and poetry in the book adds extra spice to book and poetry selection by Faraaz perfectly suits/shows Rahul’s feelings.

The book very nicely portraits the young lovers feeling, his insecurities, his jealousies, his love. Some dialogues sound really filmy and I loved those dialogues especially ‘palat,palat’ scene from ddlj. loved those removing the rose petals  while saying ‘he loves, he loves me not’ moments.

This is a beautiful tale of first love which will evoke so many emotions inside you that you can feel the pain of the character. The climax is really well written and sound little filmy but we all love filmy climaxes don’t we? Over all very good read for everyone and especially for romance fiction fans.

What happens when the most popular guy in school falls in love with his beautiful female equivalent? A pompous Rahul is head over heels in love with Seema, a shy lady from the same school. After a whirlwind of innocent encounters, their teenage romance blossoms but the two never confess their love for each other. Friends and even a few teachers approve of their relationship which is no secret to anyone thanks to Rahul’s flaunting nature. Seema, on the other hand, finds it difficult to handle the unnecessary attention she gets due to Rahul’s ostentatiousness. What follows is a series of misunderstandings and ego clashes causing them to drift apart. Rahul loses his popularity, his numero uno status, his sanity and ultimately his love. By the time he realizes what he has lost, it’s too late. He takes desperate measures to woo her back and win back her love. But will Rahul ever get back Seema? And will Seema ever realize how much Rahul loved her and all the misunderstandings that transpired between them? Is there really any room for misunderstandings in love? In today’s world, can a person’s first love ever be his last?

This teenage love story seeks answers to all these and more as it alternates between the past and the present events in the life of Rahul and makes you wonder; do all love stories have a happy ending? Or do all love stories end, ever? TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY promises to be a heart-warming and emotion filled tale that will captivate the reader’s heart and fascinate his mind and leave him pondering-DOES LOVE TRULY CONQUER ALL ODDS?

A fascinating, roller-coaster tale of teenage love, Kazi’s book depicts the emotion in its raw, confusing form- just the way you’d have experienced it the first time you fell in love with someone. Kazi’s penchant for detail is impressive and makes the book an alluring journey for all die-hard romantics.” -Tuhin Sinha, best-selling author of ‘That thing called love’ and ‘Of Love and Politics’

“The first book of an author always has a piece of the author’s soul in it. Faraaz has his soul in this one.” -Abhijit Bhaduri, best-selling author of ‘Mediocre but Arrogant’ and ‘Married but Available’.

You will love this if you ever truly, madly and deeply loved someone.

Name : Revolution 2020

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Genre : Indian Fiction

Pages : 298

Language: English

Publication Year: 07th Oct 2011

Is Review Spoiler: No

Awards : –

Movie based on this book : —

Rating: 4.5/5

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Revolution 2020 is most talked fifth book by Chetan Bhagat, best-selling author of his previous four novels ‘Five point someone, Night @ call center, Three mistakes of my life and 2 states’. R2020 is a story of three childhood friends –  Gopal, Raghav and Aarti. Each one has their own ways to achieve success, fame and bring Revolution in India by 2020.

You may ask, so what, this is another Chetan Bhagat book which will include college, IIT and all,  No, Chetan Bhagath this time come out of college (IIT) stories and attempted some thing new and serious this time. Serious because, the story shows how our education system is corrupted till the neck, how our government offices works,  it has scams and how people who want to change the system get into the trouble.

The story is narrated by the Gopal’s perspective, where he tells his saga of life. The story revolves around three best friends from school.
Gopal – Who wants to make money using his intelligence.
Raghav – Who wants to bring the Revolution by using his intelligence.
Aarti – is the girl they both fall in love with.

This is the second novel, in which I noticed that authors don’t wants to give exact dates of the events in the book, instead they give you the names of the movies. Like in this book, you will see the names like ‘Main Hoon Na, Chak De India, Rock On’, you need to figure out the dates when the events are happening in the book based on the release dates of the movies mentioned in the book.

This book from page one will make you glued to it till end, it will take you to the Journey of Gopal’s Life, how much he faced the problems to make it to IIT or NIT, how he faced problems with setting up the college or proposing the girl he LOVED the must in the world. The book talks about our education systems and how system can be twisted by using the power of  ‘white envelope’.  The Character development of Gopal is pretty awesome as he is the main protagonist in this book, where as character development of Raghav and Aarti lack the details. Chetan Bhagat has handled the love triangle pretty amazingly, considering his previous books which doesn’t had any kind of love triangle.

Once upon a time, in small-town India, there lived two intelligent boys.
One wanted to use his intelligence to make money.
One wanted to use his intelligence to create a revolution.
The problem was, they both loved the same girl.

Welcome to Revolution 2020. A story about childhood friends Gopal, Raghav and Aarti who struggle to find success and love in Varanasi. However, it isn’t easy to achieve this in an unfair society that rewards the corrupt. As Gopal gives in to the system, and Raghav fights it, who will win?

Overall, A real page turner and great story and a must read, go ahead and do read it.  And by the way, Chetan Ji, Gopal is indeed a good person!


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